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Bezos Passes Buffett, Becomes World's Third-richest Person, Forbes Says

  • Reuters

FILE - Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, who is also owner of The Washington Post, delivers remarks at the grand opening of the Post newsroom, Jan. 28, 2016.

FILE - Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, who is also owner of The Washington Post, delivers remarks at the grand opening of the Post newsroom, Jan. 28, 2016.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, on Thursday became the world's third-richest person as of the market close for the first time, Forbes magazine said, passing Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway.

Bezos' fortune was $65.3 billion as of 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT), compared with Buffett's $64.9 billion.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remained the world's richest person, at $77.7 billion, while Spain's Amancio Ortega, who founded the Zara clothing chain's owner Inditex SA, was second at $72.7 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, was fifth at $54 billion.

Bezos, 52, owns close to 18 percent of Amazon. Its stock has risen by roughly 50 percent since early February. The world's largest online retailer has continued to upend retailing as more people take to the Web rather than the mall to shop.

Amazon's share price rose further in after-hours trading, after the Seattle-based company reported better-than-expected second-quarter results.

Buffett, 85, owns close to 18 percent of Berkshire, but his donation this month of $2.86 billion of Berkshire stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities led to his drop to fourth place. He has donated more than $24.3 billion to the Gates Foundation and family charities since 2006.

Berkshire is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and has roughly 90 business units, including Geico car insurance, the BNSF railroad and Dairy Queen ice cream.

In June, Buffett called Bezos a "classic example" of how a business owner could thrive, by having focused at Amazon on how to "delight" customers and keep them coming back, rather than simply process their orders.

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